Manitoba rewrites hog barn regulations

Manitoba is removing “impractical and costly” regulations in an effort to revive its hog industry.

This morning, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced changes to rules for farm buildings, which should simplify the construction and renovation of hog barns.

Dan Mazier, Keystone Agricultural Producers president, praised the regulatory change.

“KAP is extremely pleased with this announcement because it will result in a renewal of the livestock industry, allowing producers to build new barns and modernize existing ones,” he said in a news release.

“We will now become more competitive with producers in other jurisdictions, where building costs for barns are lower because they don’t have this excess regulation.”

Hog industry leaders were highly critical of Manitoba’s former NDP government for imposing what they described as excessive and unnecessary regulations on hog barns.

The new rules will include:

•    creating a low human occupancy building classification for most farm buildings; the regulations for these buildings will be reduced, such as requirements for full fire-alarm systems

•    finding ways to prevent fires from building to building while still permitting barns to be “grouped together”

• providing more options to meet entrance and exit requirements

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government has said it’s committed to red tape reduction and to expanding the agricultural industry in Manitoba.

The government plans to repeal the Manitoba Farm Building Code and amend the Manitoba Building Code to add provisions for farm buildings.

As a result of this change, construction requirements for all buildings will be part of a single regulation, Eichler said.

The code requirements will apply to farm buildings of more than 6,500 sq. feet.

Contact robert.arnason@producer.com

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